Durkon Thundershield

Goroxx's page

74 posts. Alias of Eric Garvue.


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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions, you all have been most helpful! I am already incorporating many of your ideas into the adventure. Its issues like this that crop up now and then that make me curious to see what 4E will do better (or worse) in helping a DM adjust an adventure quickly and easily.

tbug wrote:
What's your party mix like?

Dwarven grappling monk, Wizard/Warweaver, Elf Cleric/Radiant Servant of Pelor, Human Barbarian, Half-Elf Ranger (two weapon focus), Elf Rogue/Sorcerer, Elf Arcane Archer, Elf Druid. The two casters focus mainly on buffing spells, while the rest of the party dishes out the damage.

I DM a rather large group of players (7-8) and we're deep into the Runelords adventure path and loving it.

In all of the previous adventures, my solution to the greater-than-normal number of players was just to add more monsters than what was called for in the encounter; it has worked out well. The book says three ogres? Lets make it six! I don't have a lot of prep time, and that was the simplest solution. We've had no problems at all and were having a blast. Up till now, that is.

The title of this thread is somewhat misleading. Its not my player's fault, they have played wonderfully so far. However, we've noticed that since most of them have hit 9th or 10th level, none of the encounters in this adventure have been really challenging for them. The attack on Sandpoint was fun, the journey to Jorgenfist was fun, but we've hit several encounters in a row now where it doesn't matter how many extras I throw at them or combination of tricky tactics, the monsters can't really *hurt* the PC's. Their damage output is very low compared to my PC's. The last couple of combats (deathwebs, redcaps) we just called as PC victories after a few rounds when it became apparent that eventually the monsters would bite it and no PC would be hurt worse than our healbot cleric could fix them up.

All of my players commented that since the change was so sudden (9th or 10th level), we probably have moved out of the infamous "sweet spot" and are seeing firsthand some of the effects of the way the math affects the game at this level. I'm not faulting my players at all for developing their characters they way they did. I'm also not faulting the adventure author for not making it harder; it was after all designed for a party of 4, not 7. I'm not faulting myself because, well...I'm the DM, and the DM is never wrong. (just kidding)

A good DM adjusts the adventure when he/she sees their party not having fun or not being challenged. I already have several ideas, I'm just interested in seeing how anyone else has handled sudden mid-campaign leaps in power like that.

1) Do you plan to convert to the new edition of D&D?

Yes. Enthusiastically, along with my group of 8 players. I agree with the above poster - 3.5 is a mess once you're above 10th level.

2) If Paizo converts its RPG products to 4.0, how will that affect your purchasing patterns for our products?

I will keep purchasing Pathfinder, because the quality of adventures are great.

3) If Paizo does not convert its RPG products to 4.0, how will that affect your purchasing patterns for our products?

I will be disappointed, but I will still purchase Pazio products, and convert them to 4E. If there are official conversion notes, great. If not, I'm sure the mass of fans on the Intertubes will have ideas on how to make the conversions.

Mary Yamato wrote:
Hope this helps. I haven't yet heard from a group which took over Fort Rannick--did *anyone* do this? It seems like a booby prize: it's in the middle of nowhere, has no income associated with it, and is well-nigh impossible to hold unless the PCs hunker down and sit on it, which isn't compatible with the AP.

I happen to agree. My players just took it over last session, and although they were jazzed to own their own fort, I was completely stumped as to the question of "Ok, what now?" I read through everything I could find, and I could not see where this place generates any kind of income. I had the town give them 500gp as a reward, and they used most of that on repairs and hiring a few dirty mercenaries to staff the place. If they do keep it, it would be nothing but a drag on their pocketbooks.

I like the suggestion of becoming independent from Magnimar, and that does lead to all kinds of roleplaying and side-trek goodness, but you're right - that isn't compatible with the adventure path (if we want to complete the path in a reasonable amount of time, that is). I'm guessing they'll take the status of being Lords and Ladies of Fort Rannick and just run with it, leaving the fort to its own devices as they move on to bigger and better adventures.

DangerDwarf wrote:

The take on humans in Races & CLasses looks to be promising as well. Very interesting reading:

I have to say that this solidified it for me as well. I was very non-plussed with the rollout at last GenCon; the "whee, its computerfied!" emphasis. If they had the Races and Classes preview book available then, I think that would have quashed a lot of the negativity.

I was very skeptical at the beginning (still mad as hell at the cancellation of Dungeon and Dragon), and I still have no plans to buy wholeheartedly into their "DDI" stuff. But the mechanical fixes that I've seen so far alone have won me over.

Mike Selinker wrote:

Dude, I am not going to go down in history as the guy who ruined 54 pieces of Kyle Hunter art. So, heck no.


Excellent news! Thanks for the quick response, too. Another reason for me to stay a loyal Paizo customer.

Erik Mona wrote:
You should see some of the art. My god this thing is beautiful.

Will the cards have rules text on them, like the Three Dragon Ante cards? I hope not; that kinda ruined those cards for me, as it would have been fun to see what other kinds of games/divnation tools people could have created with the Three Dragon Ante cards. WOTC had to splat text all over 'em, and IMHO, spoiled them. I'm very much looking forward to this product, though.

If the promises of faster combat, easier prep*, and more cinematic action that 4E is promising are true, then yes, I will be converting enthusiastically. If the rules allow me to create fun, fast flowing combat, allowing me to improvise without slowing the game down, then I'm all in. Several of us in our weekly game group are DM's in other games, and we're actually excited about the rules changes to D&D. As for fluff text, heck with it. We don't really care, we can always the universe to what we want anyway.

(I can't be the only DM who laboriously copies the spell descriptions from the SRD of all monster and NPC spells onto cheatsheets prior to a session so I don't have to slow things down looking up spells or spell-like powers)

1) Tank Commander
2) Forest ranger
3) Author

Wow. This whole uproar (which grew from a rather sane discussion) seems to be another symptom of the "I'm Offended" movement that's infected this country, the logic of which usually runs like this: "I'M offended, so YOU should change."

This "I'm Offended" crap cuts across all socio-, political, and religious lines. I've had it up to here with it. Somethings gone seriously off kilter in our society. Seems that if you scream loud and long enough that you're offended by something, the person who's "offending" you is supposed to eventually cave in and change. And now its trickled down to my hobby game. For cryin' out loud.

Buckle on your armor, screw up your courage, man (or woman) up, and deal with it. Its a freakin' adventure module. You're the DM. Change it to your liking. Sheesh.

Our fictional characters, the heroes we create in our games, the ones that laugh in the face of despicable evil and bravely charge in where others fear to tread would be ashamed of us, sitting here all boo-hoo'ing over words and pictures in a book. Elric would look down on us in scorn. Aragorn would shake his head in disgust. Drizzt would laugh mockingly. Old Bilbo would smack us upside the head. Conan would...well, better to not imagine what Conan would do.


Luke wrote:

Damn. This thread's getting ugly.

I just want to make sure the editors and authors don't get the feeling that everyone was offended by HMM. I may well change parts of the adventure for my players to suit their tolerance level for gore. That's really the DMs job - to know their audience and adapt the story to the crowd - right? If the gore is dialed up too high for you or your group - don't put it on the table. It's really that easy. This adventure path is about sin magic at it's core. You have to expect an exploration into dark themes.

The picture of Mammy Graul was revolting, and not because of a nasty nipple profile. There's nothing inherently wrong with nipples. Two of my best friends are nipples.

Huge obese canabilistic pale-grey gap-toothed hillbilly women are disgusting. The picture conveys that. And because of the picture, I will keep this volume up on my shelf, out of the reach of my children, just like the past two volumes - Burnt Offerings pg.29 and Skinsaw pg.39 are just as bad in my mind as far as young children are concerned. It'll be right next to the LOTR movies, Band of Brothers, Dungeon Magazine, Bull Durham, my Metallica collection, and everything else I can think of that my kids shouldn't see or hear yet.

Amen, Luke, amen.

I think possibly this hullabaloo started with James' forward to HMM, in which he stated that he had toned the adventure down from what was originally written. I think that the evil described in the previous adventures and then in this one (especially with the Grauls) already had pushed the envelope of some people's comfort zone. Then between the forward and the discussion here on the boards of a "Director's Cut" of HMM, I think that might have pushed the issue of the gore/violence level to the forefront in people's minds: "Wait...you mean it gets worse???" Combined that with today's trend of sick twisted "torture porn" movies, I think it was a valid question to raise. Unfortunately the thread has devolved into almost personal attacks against Nicholas, which I'm sorry to see.

Its like the famous definition of regular (sexual) porn - "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it". Torture porn is the same way, I can't necessarily define it, but I know it when I see it. The Pathfinder adventures aren't it.

This is very interesting, I can hardly find any "real" info; all I get is either D&D or some lame videogame references as well.

I wonder if this is a case where gaming has actually added on to existing mythology; i.e. inserted Druaga into Babylonian/Sumerian/Akkadian/Whatever mythology via the old Deities & Demigods book. Because we assume the Deities & Demigods book has an actual scholarly basis, we've more or less taken the lists of gods as fact when this might be a case where the author needed a "death god" to round out the pantheon, and poof! Druaga. The Ahriman angle seems logical, but very obscure.

I wonder if anyone can contact Robert J. Kuntz and ask him directly.

I too have really enjoyed Pathfinder, but while I don't agree completely with the OP, I'm glad to hear that the rest of series pulls back from the gore/horror angle. After we finish Hook Mountain, I'll be ready for my players to step out into the wild world and face adventure on a grander scale. Horror adventures are somewhat claustrophobic, "inward" adventures - small, hidden locales, haunted houses, narrow passageways, dark secret rooms, murky hollows where evil lurks, etc. I'll be ready to run an "outward" adventure - fighting giants, taking on a dragon on the snows of a mountaintop, racing across the wide Storval Plateau, that kind of thing.

I thoroughly abhor the "torture porn" fad in movies; Scary movies are one thing; but I think wallowing in such depravity as torture porn can only be harmful and serves to diminish those who revel in it. In our roleplaying, we play heroes (even ones with dark sides) that fight evil. Would our characters enjoy watching someone being tortured merely for the sake of their personal entertainment? I would dare say that the vast majority of D&D'ers characters would not. What's the difference between a depraved fictional Pathfinder ogre dancing the skull-jig on the body of his victim and the real-life fools clapping with diseased, sick glee while watching the depiction of a fellow human being slowly murdered in movies like Saw or Hostel? Not much. And yes, I realize I'm making a value judgment here.

That being said, I do not necessarily mind that the villains in Pathfinder are so disgusting - the more evil they are, the more glory there will be for our heroes to gain by defeating them. I don't believe that the violence or gore presented in the modules is simply gratuitous; evil is EVIL, and it shows. While it skates close to the line, I don't feel that the Pathfinder modules are written to be "torture porn". I do find it interesting though, now that Paizo is out from underneath the thumb of Hasbro they are free to explore these darker themes.

Each DM can decide for themselves how much gore/horror elements to include in their game. Steve Grimwold above stated that his players like gore, so he's including more. Good for him; a good DM knows his audience and adjusts accordingly.

Information Systems Analyst (for state government)

Nice catch!!!! Thanks a lot for the heads up.

Be sure to check out what's coming in the days ahead. Can't wait to snag that Tome of Horrors, Revised PDF.

Heathansson wrote:
Naah....Pokemon actual is evil. ;)

When the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal broke out, I had to explain it to my small daughters.

"Well, you see, this man took doggies and locked them up in small cages and made them very mean and then made them fight each other so bad people could watch."

"And that's bad, right Dad?"


Not two days after, my oldest ran across Pokemon on the cartoon channel.

"What's this, dad?"

How the hell do you respond to that after the Michael Vick thing? Its just a cartoon and card game, right? Because all I was thinking at the time was "Well, its Pokemon, honey. They take small creatures, lock them up inside a small ball, turn them into monsters and make them fight each other so kids can watch."

Instead, I quickly turned it to Spongebob. We'll save Pokemon for when they're older.

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
Um... No offense, but I want to get on this threadjack before Gary does. If you want to carry on the discussion, I'd suggest continuing it on the Civil Religious Discussion. It's wicked interesting, but it's a bit touchy. Just a friendly suggestion. No offense meant.

Good idea, we should probably do that.

Fizzban has some good comments above, I had forgotten about "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" and Calvinist predestination. As to Satan working through the Catholic church, that dates from the days of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation and the wars that raged in Europe over the issue. To either side, their enemy would be "tools of Satan". Google "pope antichrist" and you'll get the general idea of how radical Protestantism feels about Catholicism. Doug is right on the money tracing it back to Henry VIII. The Great Awakenings also have contributed.

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, 'Stop! Don't do it!"
"Why shouldn't I?" he said.
I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!'
He said, "Like what?"
I said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?"
He said, 'Religious."
I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?"
He said, "Christian.'
I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"
He said, "Protestant."
I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"
He said, 'Baptist!"
I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?'
He said, "Baptist Church of God!"
I said, "Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"
He said, 'Reformed Baptist Church of God!"
I said, 'Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"
He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!'
I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.

firbolg wrote:
Now that's something I just don't get- the weird disconnect that Catholicism isn't a form of Christianity. It appears to be a uniquely American "world view",since I've never heard it anywhere else and the Roman Catholic Church is largest branch of Christianity worldwide. Reeks of an inferiority complex to me, but I could be wrong.

I don't know about completely unique, but this view of Catholicism is deeply rooted in American history. Many of our original 13 colonies were founded as religious havens for various branches of Protestants, especially the more severe and anti-catholic ones (Puritans in Massachusetts, for example). Sure there were pockets of Catholicism here and there (Maryland), but the overwhelming majority of early colonists practiced pretty severe Protestantism in one form or another, Protestantism that was often violently opposed to the Catholic church. Throughout our history, any of the prejudices and biases that you often saw that applied to nonwhite races also applied to Catholics as well. Just one example was the KKK; in addition to attacking blacks, they also used their terror tactics against Catholics. Irish immigrants were treated in much the same way. The election of John F. Kennedy was deemed a minor miracle, in that he was the first Catholic president of the U.S.

While less of an influence today, you still see the threads of this anti-Catholicism weaving in and out of our political, religious and popular culture today. Just look at the movies or TV; anytime in the plot there's something awful connected to a Christian church, you can bet that its not a Baptist or a Presbyterian minister or church involved. Not that the Catholic church in America has helped itself at all with their handling of the abhorrent priest sex abuse cases, either.

So while to much of the world the Catholic church is "The Christian Church", here in America it is a minority among the Christian population as a whole. Adherents.com is a good place to do research on the state of religion in the U.S.

Name of PC: Lennai Shadowyn
Class/Level: 4th lvl elven Ranger
Player: MY WIFE!
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Iesha

My players did great in the Misgivings. We had the lights down low, dark ambient music playing, it was an awesome setting, and even though everyone was sufficiently creeped out, they made their way up to the attic. They managed to piece together much of the family history from the hauntings, but when they stumbled across Iesha's revenant, they didn't know what to make of her. The paladin detected her as evil, and after they moved the mirror she got up screaming about Aldern, etc. Well, I have no idea what possessed my wife to have her character step in front of Iesha (possibly it was hidden guilt over the accidental slaying of one of the innocent normal humans tied up as scarecrows out by the Hambly farm or some other motive to not let evil get away, I don't know), but she did.

I had Iesha lead off with a shriek, having her shout out something about "I'm coming for you Aldern!" or something like that. I dropped several hints as to her real motive. Several of the party basically said that they should just get out of her way, the revenant was only attacking the two who had gotten in front of her, Lennai and Daivon, our other ranger. However, as they all kept whacking at her, Iesha finally managed to score hits with both claws after I randomly determined which one she was attacking (bad luck on my wife's part) and not only did she hit with her claws, she instantly began the improved grab and constricted Lennai, snapping her neck.

Needless to say the first thought through my head was "Well, I'm sleeping on the couch tonight..."

I sort of agree on the large art pieces in the adventure; I don't hate 'em but I do think that the scene art was better in Skinsaw.

I emphatically DO like the NPC & monster art tho...the picture of Shalelu Andosanna is the by far the best picture yet of her (and an excellent representation of what Golarion elves look like). The pic of Mammy Graul just makes the bile rise in my throat, as it should. The human art was in that blocky style, not bad but nothing great. I particularly loved the charging green troll, another example of Paizo "re-imagining" a monster, excellent job.

Overall, I think that this issue taken as a whole has the best art of all of them.

Wow, I would also buy into this in a heartbeat. I love the dark adventures of Pathfinder (and so do all my players), but I've got an eight year old daughter who is just DYING to play "daddy's adventure game". In no way do I want Paizo to change Pathfinder, but if we could get some more beginner or kid friendly adventures, that would be awesome. I will look into the Treasure chest, maybe this is the year I introduce her to my favorite pastime.

However, I would want the themes to stick to fighting evil and whacking monsters, they get enough preaching on topics like the environment in school and in the movies and whatnot. My daughter wants to thump a troll because, well, he's an evil troll, not that he's an evil capitalist troll corporate CEO bent on destroying the rainforest to drill for oil. Although I can see the ogres of Hook Mountain doing that in this low-tech world. "Whatcha doin?" "Me drilling for oil!" "Why?" "... Me don't know."

I have the feeling that this will be much easier to pull off once 4th edition has been released, due to the simplified mechanics.

Lilith wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Would folks be interested in an iTunes playlist for Runelords?

Yes! :D

Might I suggest "Steeds of Thunder" or "Night of the Wolf", both by Nox Arcana?

Thanks for the Nox Arcana suggestion; their samples are great (and downloadable, too) and I'll be ordering at least one of their CD's tonight. The "28 Days Later" sounds interesting, I'll have to look at that one.

I would be interested in an iTunes list, even tho I'm not an iPodling.

I knew folks here would come through with suggestions. I love the Paizo community :)

Thanks again, and keep the music ideas coming!

Tonight's the night, my players should enter the Misgivings. Because this part of the adventure is so creepy, for the first time I'm going to break out of the mold and really set up the room to reflect that. I'm lowering all the lights except the ones over the table. I'm not planning on using a battlemat because I want them to really visualize the surroundings.

I'm also planning to use some dark ambient music playing in the background. I found that the Duskwood ambient theme from World of Warcraft works great, six minutes long and works great as a loop. Unfortunately, I found that you can't download that from the WoW site anymore. However, I found a great website where you can download all kinds of dark ambient music for free: Darkwinter.com. Check out the audio section, there's a ton of good stuff there.

Anyone else have good links to free music that they've used in their games?

Fizzban wrote:

You can also bring up C.S. Lewis, LotR, and other popular media.

This is how I got my father to at least accept fantasy as a genre...both of these authors used fantasy elements in their writings, and both were Christians. In the case of C.S. Lewis, he was the greatest writer of Christian apologetics in the 20th century, and greatly respected by my dad. Early in Lewis' life, he was an atheist, who converted to Christianity after long talks with his close friend and staunch Catholic, J.R.R. Tolkien. It wasn't until the Lord of the Rings movies came out that I finally persuaded my dad to give it a try. He was so blown away by the films that he actually bought and read the LotR trilogy. I was utterly stunned, even more so when he said to me afterward "I understand now why you were attracted to that stuff." That was a huge admission, coming from him after a couple decades of hostility.

In fact, the best angle to defend fantasy and our hobby against misguided Christians is to use C.S. Lewis & Tolkien. Almost all the time when I hear someone object to D&D, they're objecting to the genre of fantasy, not the actual type of game (RPG). Not a lot of outcry against Top Secret, Spycraft, GURPS Old West, etc. If you can blunt the "fantasy is evil" argument, you've already won the battle. Lewis & Tolkien are your best weapons to do so.

The entire Chronicles of Narnia series is one big huge Christian allegory (as well as a pretty dang good fantasy story to boot.) Tolkien isn't so blatant with the allegory, but the themes he stresses - good triumphing over evil in the face of adversity, rejection of temptation - are nothing as a Christian I can object to. When the subject of demons and devils come up, discuss C.S. Lewis' work "The Screwtape Letters", which is a compilation of fictional correspondence between a senior devil and his junior. Magic? Give 'em Aslan & Gandalf. The list goes on. If faithful Christians such as Lewis & Tolkien can use fantasy, why can't we?

As a Christian myself, I often have to sadly shake my head at those who go off the deep end regarding D&D. The early church faced horrific persecutions and bloody martyrdom at the hands of Roman emperors, and yet their faith remained unshaken. Are some people's faith so weak today that they can't even handle a game where people play pretend? On second thought, I already know the answer.

GeraintElberion wrote:


Goroxx, that is awesome. I might rip that off at some point.

Thanks. I used a combination of When the Sky Falls and Requiem for a God, both by Malhavoc as inspiration for the end of the campaign, both really great books.

Thomas Austin wrote:

Ragnarok, Armageddon, Tarmon Gaidon.....

Has anyone played through the end of their world? I'm toying with a cosmology that predicts a great battle at the end of all time, but the scale of running such an event (other than just a bunch of narration, which wouldn't be much fun) is a little overwhelming.

Any experience or ideas?

I blew up the Realms at the end of my two year FR campaign. Through a series of events orchestrated by the main villain, I had a massive comet hit the world.

Part of the problem I saw in running an end of the world scenario is what the heck can the PC's do about it? That's god territory. So I had the comet really be a massive artifact called the Ark of Souls, filled with evil from the Far Realm (I used the Engram Ark from Malhavoc Press' "When the Sky Falls" as a model. Great book.) Being the massive world-destroying artifact, it was surrounded and preceeded by massive "god-storm". The gods of Faerun rose up united and in an assault witnessed by everyone in the world attempted to turn aside the artifact. All were swallowed up in the darkness. As the gods of Faerun were dying, I had them gift as much of their power to the PC's as possible (I gave each PC some portfolio-appropriate Epic Feats or made up some powers for them).

The comet slammed into the world, altering the continents and wiping out most of the people - bye bye Elminster and other uber-NPC's that would get in the way of my PC's becoming the saviors of the world. My players gathered together the survivors of the broken world, and then with their nifty new godling-powers had to assault the Ark itself, lodged in the heart of the massive crater (our final dungeon assault, the main bad guy enthroned within). When they conquered this, they became the new gods of the world. Fitting end to a campaign.

So basically, my feelings on it is that its a lot of fun, but you need to prepare the ground somehow for your players to make a difference, otherwise they're just spectators at the end of time. I chose to wipe out the gods and uber-Faerun-npcs, paving the way for my players to step in.

Phil. L wrote:
I started playing D&D to become a satanist, and was extremely disappointed to discover they weren't connected. ;)

Well, you're not doing it right then. First you gotta create a character called Black Leaf, then you gotta find a DM named Ms. Frost. Once you hit 8th level, she'll teach you how to "really cast spells". Its all downhill from there.


Yep, I'm right there with ya, Fizzban

I'm the son of a minister, got introduced to D&D by another PK (that's "Preacher's Kid", what we call ourselves). We were over at his house for an all-city pastor's get together, he had the old Blue basic book and some graph paper with his own dungeon on it, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Talked to my folks about it, they seemed alright with it, and they were going to buy it for me for my birthday in a couple of weeks.

Then somehow word gets to them through my hand-waving, holy-roller, holier-than-thou relatives that D&D is "Of The Devil". Well, it all went to hell in a handbasket from there. Looking back, I'm pretty sure now that my father was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If his kid was known as "one of those devil worshipers", it would have made his life even that more hard. Being a minister - a real one, not one of these fake money-grubbing TV jerks or pedophile priests - is a hard life; I know, I lived through it. Even though I'm pretty sure they trusted me, I realize now that they couldn't let me play D&D because some idiots would use that to make life hell for my father. So I was banned from it.

Of course that didn't stop me, and even after they found and threw away my hidden stash of D&D books, I managed to keep on playing it with my friends in secret. Arguments, fights, round and round we went through my teen years. It was a nightmare I don't want to relive. So I understand, Fizzban, I have had to live through that "devil-worship" crap first hand.

Funny thing is now that I'm almost 40, I'm still a Christian, still go to church on Sundays, I'm a firm believer and an am raising my kids up in my faith. Even though I disagreed with him years ago regarding D&D, my father is my hero. And every Wednesday night, me, my wife and seven other friends get together and step out of our mundane lives and weave a tale of adventure, excitement, action and high fantasy where good triumphs over evil. We play Dungeons and Dragons.

Jack Chick, my holy-roller relatives, and anyone else who can't discern the difference between a game and real life, can just kiss my Dungeon Master'ing...well, you know.

Woot!!! Just downloaded it now. I'll read through the adventure in a bit, but had to say something about the Varesia gazetteer. My players have been clamoring for more info on the world. Awesome job, people, simply awesome. You should all be very proud of yourselves, this is a worthy successor to the lost magazines. Scratch that. I'm liking Pathfinder MORE than Dungeon & Dragon.

EDIT: Holy Hot Diggity!!! I don't know how you did it, but Tars is right! Using the Image select tool in Reader, you can drag the image to the desktop and it creates a .bmp file MINUS the room numbers. Perfect for scaling up and printing out battlemats! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Djoc wrote:

I agree with blackcat there. ** spoiler omitted ** Don't penalize players because the choices they made gives them some advantage in a specific part of the adventure. You wouldn't change goblins to kobolds if the ranger took goblins as his favored ennemy, would you?

Nope, not looking to penalize my players at all, and I agree with you 100%; as my players can attest to, I am a very fair DM. It took more time to set up the minis and roll initiative scores than it did for them to kill the first bunch. I was just looking for more ways to make the fight more entertaining than just a dry exercise in dice rolling. Thanks for the tips and advice.

Thanks, this is the advice I'm looking for. I'm not looking to screw over my players or "win" in any way, just wanted to make the fight more entertaining. They'll have a much tougher time later on down the road...

...in the haunted house of doom! <insert evil villan laugh here>

Tatterdemalion wrote:
I rather liked it. New, original, entertaining :)

I'm with you, it was funny.

Sebastian wrote:

Edit: Ah, I found the data. Here's the relevant quote:
"Shares of Garfield Games purchased in 1993 for $5 were worth well more than $1000."

Garfield Games was a shell company that held the Magic brand and licensed it to WotC.

The full corporate story can be found here:


Ahh, thanks Sebastian and everyone else, exactly what I was wanting to know.

A reverse triangular merger, eh? I suppose that Hasbro, being a subsidiary of the Triliberal Comission, controlled by Multi-National Oil Companies and the Semiconscious Liberation Army, who of course are dually influenced by the Fiendish Fluoridators and the Orbital Mind Control Lasers would be behind it all. Well, actually, the Gnomes of Zurich are behind EVERYTHING, but you all knew that. Fnord. <Goroxx puts away his Illuminati cards now...>

James Jacobs wrote:
You can't forget the Pokemon card game factor... that was probably the biggest reason Hasbro bought WotC.

Totally forgot about the Pokemon factor; yeah, Hasbro would want a piece of that pie.

When Hasbro bought WOTC, who did they pay? That is, was Wizards a corporation that had stock? Or was it a partnership, or a family owned business, or what? Who profited from the sale of Wizards? Just curious.

I'm fuzzy on the details - I know that Wizards of the Coast was propelled to fame and fortune on the back of Magic: The Gathering, and with that they bought up floundering TSR. They produced a new (IMHO better) edition of D&D with 3.0, but then it gets blurry - just when, how, and why did WOTC end up in the hands of Hasbro? Since I've read that many feel that pressures from Hasbro are spurring on this new edition, I was just wondering a bit about the corporate history of it all.

Matthew Morris wrote:


Just wondering, not attackng.

Have you played the original X1? Or Undermountain or Myth Drannor (Pre-last Mythal)?

Isle of Dread always came across as a meat grinder to me. Lots of things to sink ships, lots of things to kill parties, little treasure, lots of death.

Undermountain, easy to get in, not so much to leave, with all the portals, societies and just plain mean monsters. Again, very leathal and unlikely to get back to rest and resupply anytime soon.

Myth Drannor? I paraphrase, but the boxed set basically says, "If the party is running for their lives, hurt, exhausted, low on resources and still being attacked, you're running it right."

IDHSTAPIFOM, but as I recall, the encounters are few and far between, but overwhelming. In essence you should be battered and bloody, and grateful for reaching civilization.

I've edited my post above, but yes, I have played X1 and so had many of our group. I think what got us was the "running for our lives" part. It just kind of felt a little to reactive, rather than active to us. We weren't going INTO danger (knowing the consequences), we were rather focused on running OUT OF danger. It felt a bit cowardly? Wimpy? Not heroic? I don't know.

I didn't take your post as a criticism, but I guess maybe I'm not explaining it well - its morning and I need more coffee :) In any case, I do not agree with the OP regarding railroading.

EDIT: I'm editing my post; I had put up some comments on how our group did feel that the Isle of Dread portions of Savage Tide were a little disappointing. But in light of reading the whole thread, I don't want to make it appear that I'm throwing in with the OP...

Pazio has consistenly put out adventures that rock; my group just started Pathfinder #2 last night, and it is very open ended. They had many different directions they could take with it, and as a DM I was very comfortable with the material allowing me to roll with whatever they chose. You want to see real railroading in action - play Living Greyhawk.

Hill Giant wrote:

To the question, as a secularist, I see Halloween like Christmas: the sentiment of the holiday can be appreciated without the spirituality (whatever you think it is). And who doesn't like candy?

As a Christian, I concur. I can enjoy Halloween as a secular holiday just like I can enjoy Christmas as a religious one. Going out tomorrow with my three daughters to go beg candy from the neighbors does not mean that I'm subjecting them to heresy or whatnot. If the neo-pagans want to dance around naked under the moon that night, more power to 'em, hope they have a ball. Same thing goes for Christmas - just because I believe the Savior was born that night doesn't preclude someone else from having fun and exchanging presents.

I'm getting sick and tired of the whole "I'm Offended" movement that's infected all bands of the political/religious spectrum. (not that that's what Lady Aurora was saying in her discussion starter post)

Ok, the following section contains spoilers, but I have a question regarding running the 2nd adventure.


The text for area B24, Iesha's Prison says that if the players don't get in her way or attack her, she makes her way down to Aldern's hideout in B37. What I can't find is what happens if she actually gets there. Do the players just stand back, grab some popcorn and watch two undead fight it out? I don't really expect my players to NOT attack her, but if by some strange miracle they don't... If anyone's run this part of the adventure, I would like some advice on this, thanks in advance

Awesome!!! Finally (being the visual learner that I am) I can wrap my head around where Varesia is, its relative climate, etc. Thank you, thank you Pazio!!!

So if Osiron is down there, roughly where Egypt is if you think of the northern continent as Europe and the southern one as Africa, Absalom is smack in the middle of the Mediterranean, where Crete or Cyprus are. Varesia is roughly equal to northern France & England. North of Varesia are the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, so that's roughly equivalent to Scandinavia...

Ooh, the mind just BUZZES now that this is all put into perspective.

I'm another person who likes the iconics in the back of the book, don't care if its 1 or two pages. Why? Because they can be game savers - last night my weekly game group met and two of my players (husband and wife) had a frazzled day and all their game stuff was in another car. Well, we know he had a rogue, and she was a druid. Rather than bog the game down making them try and re-write everything from memory on a new sheet, he just used Merisiel's stats, and she used Kyra's stats, using druid spells instead of cleric's, pulling out a MM for the wolf's stats, etc. Really saved the day, as they needed all hands on deck to fight the big boss at the end of Burnt Offerings. I understand those who say that we should reserve the space for more adventure or fluff or crunch articles, I do. But for me, I'm glad they're there.

Plus, Wayne Reynolds is one hell of an artist. I mean, c'mon...who couldn't like Seoni? She's so...so...mystical, yeah, that's it. ;)

Oh, and my wife tells me that Valeros is a hunk, too. Just to be fair to all genders on this board :D

Remy Grondin wrote:

And on a side note, I've heard that Wizards was preparing a FOURTH edition of D&D (if THAT was really necessary :P)... How will it affect Pathfinder, if it affects it at all?


Why do I get this image of you as the fresh-faced private fresh out of basic getting sent to the front where you'll be greeted by a bunch of hardened, shell-shocked veterans?

I'm just kidding :) no bad feelings intended, just brought a smile to my face.

4th Edition D&D was announced at GenCon this year in August. Since then there has been lots of...discussion about 4th Edition, to put it diplomatically. Check


for a good overview of the 4th Edition. As far as Pazio is concerned, there is an impact, you can check out

This Thread

for a MASSIVE thread on the topic on its impact on Pazio and the decisions facing the company.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

I'd not actually recommend giving out crafting feats free of charge.

Its an experiment - so far in the 7 years of 3.0/3.5 D&D that our group has played played, exactly zero characters have ever "wasted" a feat on crafting. So far in the new ROTRL campaign (we just finished Burnt Offerings last night and most leveled to 4th), no one yet has taken a crafting feat. So personally for the players I have, I'm not that worried that they'll be swimming in uber-powered magic items soon, its just not their style. That might change, we'll see. You do have valid points though, and if my group make up was different, I would think twice.

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
I hear you; vote with your dollars. Support Pathfinder and Kobold Quarterly.

Done and done, the quality of both is excellent. It would be nice to see Kobold Quarterly become Kobold Bi-Monthly. Heck, why stop there? I'd pay for Kobold Monthly.

But then after several successful years, you'd probably get bought out by some multinational conglomerate. To please the faceless bean counters in the accounting department, they would cancel Kobold Monthly, and go to an online subscription version called Kobold Digital Initiative that promises the same CRAZY COOL content that'll be SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!*

Oh wait...someone's already used that schtick on a couple of other good magazines... ;)

Better stick with Kobold Quarterly.

*to quote Brent from another thread

Questions of copyright and trademark laws aside, I got around the "who would waste a feat on that" roadblock by allowing on non-normal feat levels (2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, etc.) my players to choose off of a list of feats that generally don't have any big game impact. It includes a lot of the +2 skill feats, etc., that no one ever "wastes" a feat on. The list includes all of the crafting feats; I'm trying to encourage them to do more crafting. So far no one's taken one yet, but then again they just hit 3rd level at Thistletop.

I would love to see what 4th edition's take on crafting is, seeing as they're trying to incorporate a lot of MMO feel into the game, and crafting is such a big part of a lot of MMO's.

I was negative to undecided about 4E, but after reading some of the rules mechanics changes, I am finding to my surprise that I am looking forward to a lot of the mechanics changes.

I could care less about fluff, elves vs. eldarin, succubi as demons, etc. Fluff is fluff; you can always change it or wait for a 3rd party to come along and do better, re: Golarion. No gnomes or half orcs as PC choices in the PHB? So what - someone either on the 'net or a 3rd party publisher will come along and make 'em. A lot (not all) of the sacred cows you talked about are just fluff - look at the stink here on the Pazio boards that erupted over the length of a Golarion elf's's ears.

Ears. We were fighting about ears. I swear sometimes us gamers pick fights just for the fun of fighting.

Me and my group will be playing in the Paizo world no matter what. If that means some of your fluff is different from official 4E, that's fine by me. You've already done things different, with the creation of a new world. Your goblins are different. Your elves are different. Your cosmology, history, everything is different, and that's just fine. The three core books work great with it, and I think that the three 4E core books will work just fine as well. I'm sorry to hear that WOTC's delays are making trouble for third party publishers; I just finished reading a good thread over at ENWorld on this very topic where Necromancer games was talking about the very same thing.

Personally, I (now) hope you do make the switch to 4E because from a rules mechanic's standpoint, I'm growing more and more comfortable with the changes they're making. I hope and pray that WOTC doesn't screw this up for everyone - but seeing their recent track record (the digital abominations that they dare call Dungeon and Dragon magazines, "Gleemax" - what a joke, their completely mishandled 4th Edition PR campaign), I'm not confident that they'll do the right thing and get you the 4E rules sooner rather than later.

This is somewhat sad and disheartening news - I was hoping that WOTC and the 3rd party publishers could all move the hobby forward together. Instead, we could end up fragmenting it further.

Gee, thanks WOTC.

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